Consul General Okada’s Web Message

Hello everyone.
It is like early summer here in Vancouver.   At the beginning of April, I planted potatoes and summer daikon-radishes at a rented patch in the outskirts of the city and since then, they have been thriving.   Also in the terrace garden at my place, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin and other vegetables have germinated and will soon be transplanted to the patch. 
This year marks the 50th anniversary since sister-city relationships were established between the Cities of Vancouver and Yokohama, and between the Cities of Burnaby and Kushiro.   Also, the City of Victoria and Morioka City commemorate the 30th anniversary of their sister-city relationship this year.
A variety of commemorative activities are taking place in each city.  These municipal-level twinning activities are mainly organized by each city’s community groups; the exchange of secondary school students, the cultural programs, and the sports events are a valuable contribution to mutual understanding between Canada and Japan.
Recently, a group from Morioka City arrived to celebrate the anniversary of their twinning with Victoria. Their itineraries included participation in the Victoria Day Parade and the installation of the Bell of Friendship, which is a gift from Morioka.  The unveiling ceremony for the bell which took place at Centennial Park was well attended by the local citizens.
At the end of May, a team of paddlers from Vancouver will race in the dragon boat regatta in the City of Yokohama.  In July a group from the City of Kushiro will visit Burnaby.  Their visit will feature a concert in Burnaby by Mr. Kentaro Kihara, a jazz pianist from Kushiro.  
These active civic-level exchanges are instrumental in nurturing the rich relationship that exists between our two countries at the national level.   Our consulate is proactively providing a hand to support such mutual exchanges by local governments.
May 2015
Seiji Okada
Consul General of Japan in Vancouver

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